House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: James Carroll

Narrated By: James Carroll

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: May 2006

Duration: 10 hours 19 minutes


From the National Book Award-winning author of An American Requiem and Constantine's Sword comes a sweeping yet intimate look at the Pentagon and its vast-often hidden- impact on America.

This landmark, myth-shattering work chronicles the most powerful institution in America, the people who created it, and the pathologies it has spawned. James Carroll proves a controversial thesis: the Pentagon has, since its founding, operated beyond the control of any force in government or society. It is the biggest, loosest cannon in American history, and no institution has changed this country more. To argue his case, he marshals a trove of often chilling evidence.

Carroll draws on rich personal experience (his father was a top Pentagon official for more than twenty years) as well as exhaustive research and dozens of extensive interviews with Washington insiders. The result is a grand yet intimate work of history, unashamedly polemical and personal but unerringly factual. With a breadth and focus that no other audiobook could muster, it explains what America has become over the past sixty years.


  • tom

    First of all there is no in depth at all as to the inner workings of the Pentagon. What there is revolves around a series of condemnations and seconding guessing on everyone from Truman's use of the A bomb to Clinton's ill-conceived gay policy. I consider myself open to both conservative and liberal positions, but all these people he condemns are the same ones that have kept us free and safe from nuclear bombs for 60 years.

  • Anonymous

    This is a fascinating insider's view of the Pentagon and its place in our collective consciousness. It's also a frightening expose of the wartime "heroes", policymakers, and fearmongers who drove - and continue to drive - our foreign-policy agenda. A must-read for anyone who is concerned about the power of government and where, how, and upon whom it is conferred.

  • John Roche

    Being 66, I can vividly remember how the war and near nuclear war headlines described what was happening. I found James Carroll's research and personal knowledge of "the rest of the story" very enlightening. It makes one think, "how will today's war be described 40 years from now?"

  • Cary Abbott

    Carroll was there when the Pentagon was built. His father became a major player for years to come and James Carroll writes the first part of this book with fascinating detail and insider knowledge. The history is frightening, but too much so. Seemingly the U.S. was the cause of every ailment in the world from WWII to the present plague of terrorism, and all of the blame lies with nuclear weapons. When he's writing about the people he knew, the decisions and conversations he verifies the book is great. However, when he gets off track and starts assuming and imagining why people in power made their choices, Carroll loses his credibility.